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Poultry Litter on Pastures: Trash or Treasure?

By Dave Johnson, NODPA Vice President, Organic Producer
Graze just what grows or fertilize for more? It’s a question that goes through the minds of graziers, especially when it seems like the pasture quality is marginal, drought patterns persist, and the land base is pretty tight. While Kiwi grass farmers regularly time applications of synthetic Nitrogen (N) to manage the feed wedge, I would venture to guess that most organic grass farmers in the states seldom apply fertilizer to pastures, maybe because a shot of organic N is not as easy to come by.

Some of us live in areas where poultry litter is available, albeit via a few hour truck ride, for the cost of material plus hauling. So how does it work, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of using this on pastures?